Peoria area police approve $250k grant for new body cameras - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria area police approve $250k grant for new body cameras

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

Eight police departments in Greater Peoria will receive a combined total of a half million dollars for body cameras.

Peoria City officials approved a “body-worn camera policy and implementation program” Tuesday evening.

Police say the cameras will build trust between the community and law enforcement.

Half of the money comes from a federal grant totaling $253,005.

As part of the condition of the federal award, the City of Peoria and partnering jurisdictions submitted a local match of just over 50% totaling $256,390.

They also have to complete a two year grant program, mandating them to review and develop policies and training programs around body-worn cameras with support from a national technical assistance provider to validate the process.

The police departments who will benefit from the grant are the Peoria Police Department, Peoria County Sheriff's Office, Peoria Heights, Bartonville, Chillicothe, East Peoria and the Peoria Park District.

A total of 285 cameras will be purchased with the funds and the Peoria Police department will receive 140 of the body cameras, outfitting about 60% of their officers with the new equipment.

Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says "It will provide some better transparency. It will bridge some gaps if you will, but it's gonna change behavior on both sides. That is a fact. Its different than when you take a report that this person said this and this officer said that. If you can capture it on video, it will end that discussion."

Peoria police expect to begin use of the new camera in March of 2018.

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